Reflections on the first World Orthodox Israel Congress
You didn't answer the question! How are they striving to be inclusive if they didn't invite Jews for Jesus and Reform rabbis? Did they go beyond their comfort zone more than Agudah does? I see no indication of that. Their inclusivity is just an artifact of them being more comfortable with anti-Torah attitudes than Agudah is. But thank God they still have some red lines.
"I was also honored when a certain black-hatted rabbinic leader with a very prestigious position came over to me and said that he enjoys reading my blog!"
Don't let it get to your head. Like the rest of us, he probably just enjoys watching you be made to look like a doofus, time and time again.
"within the boundaries of what can be done without undermining the framework" - this my main contention with this blog. Pointing out (in other posts) certain Charedi inconsistencies, beliefs and even unhealthy attitudes - without recognizing that they serve to uphold a larger ethos - is damaging. For example, Rav Gershon Adelstein saying Bein Hazmanim causes more accidents b/c of a lack of learning is productive to the entire enterprise of Judaism from the macro level because his followers take it seriously. Reducing all the charedi-idms as this blog does undermines the framework. If you notice it, leave it alone (most of the time.) I won't be teaching my kids theistic evolution unless its necessary.
It's been noted before that the loudest calls for "diversity" usually come from the *least* diverse and most homogenous people in the country. Vermont voters, Reform Jews, etc. So be careful who you make common cause with.
Important point: Sharansky is absolutely Orthodox. He is simply not fully observant, but he in no way identifies as Masorti or Reform.
"Likewise, I understand why people might not want to hear presentations from someone of lesser religious affiliation, . . . "
. . . Does "someone of lesser religious affiliation" mean me (Reform/Reconstructionist/Renewal) ?
My personal observance doesn't match up with charedi expectations, and they'd consider me either "fallen away" or simply a goy. On the other hand, I make it a point _not_ to steal from the State, something which many haredim have forgotten about.
The question and answer about why a stork is a non-kosher bird was given by the the first Gerer Rebbe, the Chidushei haRim. That implies that you need to be bound what he considers inclusivity.
Additionally, the issue is further complicated by the first posuk of tehillim, that is darshaned to mean one should stay away from negative people.
אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר ׀ לֹ֥א הָלַךְ֮ בַּעֲצַ֢ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ חַ֭טָּאִים לֹ֥א עָמָ֑ד וּבְמוֹשַׁ֥ב לֵ֝צִ֗ים לֹ֣א יָשָֽׁב׃
I tracked down the quote -- it's here:
I am assuming that it's reasonable to refer to the head of Shas as "haredi". If not, I apologize to all haredim.
I was thinking about a previous post of R. Slifkin's, about Aryeh Deri saying that "Everybody does it", about cheating the government. I assumed it was his own supporters that he was talking about, since he'd know them best.
But you're right, I shouldn't use stereotyping -- you have my apologies.
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"I understand why people might not want to hear presentations from someone of lesser religious affiliation, but if they are not saying anything against their religious beliefs, is that adequate reason to exclude them?"
One day you might come across how R Chaim Soloveitchik answered that question.
"If Moshe Rabbeinu could get useful guidance from a Midianite priest, surely we can get useful guidance from people outside of our community!"
One day you might come across the מדרש שמואל על אבות'es guidelines of when to maintain a distance and when not, and you might come across R Aharon Kotler's comments regarding Yisro.
A good idea when wondering how any given phenomenon is addressed by whatever community, is to think if it's 'a deja vu' and search that community's history all the earlier times and what rationales were offered. Refusing the podium to the less religious is old news countless times, countless places. Find out the historic rationales.
120 years of the Mizrachi movement have been a veritable disaster for its followers and the hapless masses who had sent their poor kids into the shmad factories known as ממלכתי דתי בתי ספר. Mizrachi worships Zionism, elevates it over Judaism and continues the shmad unabaintgly to this very day. I'd learned in a Mizrachi Yeshiva 45 years ago and nothing has changed since that time.
'After all, there are certainly limits to the Torah’s inclusivity, especially with regard to non-Jews. So what’s the value in talking about being inclusive, if you just draw the line a little further out?'
ואהבת לרעיך כמוך - רעיך במיצוות. These are the parameters and every nation has similar limitations because 'diversity' is a disaster for the survival and the prosperity of a group. This politicaly incorrect reality is an evolutionary necessity אם חפצים חיים אנחנו.